Cashless establishments would pay fine under proposed legislation

Councilman Ritchie Torres said the practice is discouraging to low-income and minority New Yorkers.

New York City cafes and restaurants might have to pay up if they don’t have cash on hand.

City Councilman Ritchie Torres introduced a bill Wednesday that targets commercial properties that have gone cashless. The councilman said the practice, which has been growing throughout the city at coffee shops and other establishments, is discouraging to low-income and minority New Yorkers who may not carry credit cards or other methods of electronic payment. 

"It’s deceptively benign. But what we have happening is delegitimization of cash, and I worry about the ramifications of that," Torres said in a statement. 

The bill, which currently has three co-sponsors, would require all commercial eateries to accept cash as payment. Establishments that do not abide by the regulation would be hit with a $250 fine for their first violation and a $500 fine for  second and subsequent violations. 

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